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paris1time
04-24-2011, 07:15 PM
I know this subject is not new, but as it gets closer for Groundspeak to implement a plan that brings Virtuals back I was curious what everyone else on the ArkGeo Forums think. I know there are those in "the other" forums that really are passionate about being for or against them. I for one like them, and look forward to seeing what Groundspeak does. Here is the post by Jeremy Irish on the Feedback Forum about Virtuals:


"We are partway through a project that will "bring virtuals back" in a way that doesn't adversely affect the core geocaching experience. The new plan is to have this launched to the public in late May. (13675)
http://img.geocaching.com/user/d8694a01-3296-482a-864d-963873e38ba9.jpg Jeremy (http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=51214b3d-6777-4c99-9508-b6107967ff29) Admin"
I have not heard much speculation on what Groundspeak plans on doing. I wonder if they are going to integrate Waymarking.com and Geocaching.com where Virtuals or Waymarks can be viewed on either site and when you log them found that they count in your geocaching statistics.

DaTexanBoy
04-24-2011, 07:42 PM
I personally love Virtuals. All the ones I have done to date, have always been real interesting.

SJClimber
04-24-2011, 08:37 PM
There are a number of sites in western US that are waymarked, but could easily be virtuals. It would be nice if Groundspeak would assimilate waymarking into the original site in some fashion.

ronwhite
04-24-2011, 08:48 PM
I too, personally love virtuals. I'm a history buff and on several vacations have seen and read about things in history that I wouldn't have seen or knew about otherwise, if it weren't for virtuals.

Gaddiel
04-26-2011, 10:38 AM
Virtuals are a different aspect of the game that we really enjoyed. I hope they come back.

arkfiremedic
04-26-2011, 10:49 AM
I too love virtuals. Can't wait to see 'em come back! I can think of a couple that are a must when virtuals come back.

likestocanoe
04-26-2011, 07:36 PM
We really hope they bring the virtual caches back - the sooner, the better.

topkitty98
04-27-2011, 08:02 PM
I, too, love virtuals! I think there are many areas that would be opened to us for placement if virtuals were once again "legal".

captaincooder
05-04-2011, 09:46 PM
Thanks for sharing, P1T. I had heard rumors, but didn't know it was on the horizon so quickly. I too, like virtuals, but I do like being able to claim a cache by finding the treasure box and formally stamping the proof of my visit. I dislike having to beg a CO for a smiley on a virtual. However, there are just some places where hiding tupperware is impractical, and I've got a few in mind to turn into virtuals if and when they ever decide to bring them back.

cfd29
05-08-2011, 01:01 PM
That will be great!! There are a lot of virtuals that we have found that are historical sights that we would have never seen if not for the virtual there!

geofinder24
05-08-2011, 10:21 PM
Being as I'm kinda new to this, what are virtuals? I think I have an idea of what they are, but not sure.
I think of them as being just something you go see, and maybe having to describe something at the location to claim the find. I don't really know though. Just a guess!

SJClimber
05-09-2011, 06:32 AM
Go to this link for information about the "game." Very informative and if you plan to place a geocache, there are materials there you should be familiar with. http://www.geocaching.com/guide/default.aspx

melissafred
06-02-2011, 05:53 PM
I enjoyed the one I did several years ago. Personally, I'd like to see them come back. They're another nice aspect of the game.

guwisti
06-06-2011, 08:56 PM
I love virtuals! Often they are the ones in historic sites or places of interest. I had so much fun gathering virtuals in NOLA. AND I personally think having a virtual in airports would be fantastic! That way if you're laid over somewhere or have a connecting flight you can log a cache in that state or country. It's a great way to do a cache that meets with airport approval!

Coon&Bud
06-09-2011, 02:07 PM
I agree Virtuals are historical sights that I just love! I look forward to logging some. Coon&Bud

Flyfishingcachers
06-09-2011, 09:08 PM
We have done some virtuals and really enjoy them. We vote for them to come back!!

captaincooder
06-11-2011, 07:03 AM
Jeremy Irish says they're still working on it, but looks like August is the earliest they will have something live. http://feedback.geocaching.com/forums/75775-geocaching-com/suggestions/1050805-bring-back-virtuals?utm_campaign=Widgets&utm_medium=widget&utm_source=feedback.geocaching.com

Flyfishingcachers
07-26-2011, 08:42 AM
This is from Jeremy on the geocaching.com fourm:

In the UserVoice updates I never said that virtuals were coming back in their previous form, but instead something would be available that should capture the interest in virtuals without the baggage (such as the subjective review process).

To me, this is the most exciting project that we've worked on in years, but it will take some time to iterate through the idea and I know we'll get some things wrong, but the framework is solid. We'll be investing a substantial amount of effort with this project moving forward.

Some points:


It will be on Geocaching.com, not a new web site. It will be a separate section in the beta, but I expect it to be integrated into a joined search at some point.
Currently they will not go towards your find count, but it might at some point. It won't at the beginning though.
It will be a visible statistic, so you will see them on the profile, on the logs, etc.
We'll be hopefully launching with mobile applications to compliment the activity. I expect that the majority of participants will be using smartphones, but we will have components (Pocket Queries, GPX file downloads, etc) for traditional GPS devices.


For the comments that we should involve the community more, we do. We don't have a public discussion about it, instead working with a smaller sampling of geocachers.

Flyfishingcachers
07-26-2011, 08:43 AM
Don't think many people are going to like these.

Jffok
07-26-2011, 04:39 PM
So if they are not going to count on a smiley at first, why go do them . I would think I would wait until they did count as a smiley. I love virtuals but only do them when I am in an area doing other caches. Will be interesting to see how this goes.

SJClimber
07-26-2011, 06:46 PM
So, if one wants to see interesting objects, geographic features, buildings, etc.. and not get "credit," why not just look up waymarks near a locale where you have a PQ for geocaches??? If there will not be "credit" for the find, why bother bringing them back?? 2 cents....

OldRiverRunner
08-17-2011, 05:13 PM
Podcacher (http://www.podcacher.com/) released a mid-week podcast (http://www.podcacher.com/?powerpress_pinw=2262-podcast) today (Show 332.1) providing an interview with Jeremy and Bryan from Groundspeak, sharing information about the new Geocaching Challenges being released later this week. Not quite the same as the old virtuals, but still interesting!

Ashallond
08-18-2011, 02:47 PM
Well, on the first day...I am really unimpressed. No owner oversight, no easy way to search an area that isn't within about 25-50 miles, no list of them easily searchable, and what they are creating..

It's bad. I accepted a few of them but I haven't gone through to actually do any of them... Anyway, I did make one to see that part of the thing, you've got to come to Fort Smith to do it, it sort of sucks, but it's way better than half of them that I've seen.

http://coord.info/CX115

captaincooder
08-18-2011, 09:52 PM
Virtuals schmurtuals. Uggh. I just don't get it I guess.

paris1time
08-19-2011, 07:56 AM
I had someone tell me one time when I first started geocaching that the one thing that they loved about it was that everyone could play it "their own way" and that was okay. Want to find one cache hidden in a cave? Go for it. Want to find 100 caches in a day? Go for it. It's how ever you want to play and as long as you like it it's okay. I say it is "okay" because that is what they felt and the way I feel.

So, my opinion on the new Geocaching Challenges is this: Want to place them? Want to accept the challenges? Want to complete the challenges? If you do, or don't it's okay. Play your way and it's okay. I just don't like it when there are those who don't care for it that want it done away with or are too critical of those who do like them in the Groundspeak forums.

I rarely visit the Groundspeak forums because some who post there are so ready to pounce on someone and some are always so negative. I did take a peek last night and saw that already there are some that have began their negative things about the Geocaching Challenges. In fact one was trying to get others to "flag" them so after they receive a certain number of "flags" they are automatically archived.

I did publish a Geoaching Challenge last night for the location of the last execution by public hanging in Arkansas: http://coord.info/CX588

I plan on creating some more and "watching and waiting" to see where it goes from here.

Want to accept the challenge? If you do or don't "It's okay".

OldRiverRunner
08-19-2011, 08:35 AM
Thanks for putting a positive light on it, paris1time! You're absolutely right! We all play the game differently. And it is ONLY A GAME! Let's not forget that!

I am still undecided as to whether I like or dislike the new Challenges, but I am willing to give them a chance. I am particularly interested in seeing what interesting places I might be taken by Challenges, where physical caches are not allowed or not practical. In that spirit, I've published a challenge for Cedar Falls (http://coord.info/CX3AC) in Petit Jean State Park and I have another prepared for the summit of Signal Hill (http://coord.info/CX8D2) on Mt. Magazine (to be published later today, after the 24-hour period between published Challenges has passed), both of which are special places for me. Although there are physical caches near these locations, the Challenges provide another incentive to visit these places. I also see the Challenges as a way to bring folks to those special places in the National Forests that geocachers may know about and want to share, without having to get permits (since no physical containers are placed).

captaincooder
08-19-2011, 09:31 AM
Not really resurrected virtuals. I will play along for now, and have an idea for one, but there are lots of problems, like with Munzees and Wherigos. If they don't fix it fast, it will wither rapidly.

captaincooder
08-19-2011, 09:59 AM
ORR, although I felt your spirit on the Cedar Falls challenge, I see no indication that you created it. I see Ashallond's and Yazzman's stamps on the two in Ft. Smith. Is this because of the 24-hour rule? If so, I suppose since it's out of your control and into the hands of the "community" then you could claim a find/completion? Personally, not only do I see no problem with that, I endorse it. You hiked it, you deserve the credit, whether you found a cache there or not. Perhaps now these special places will be at least worth one smiley for making the effort.

OldRiverRunner
08-19-2011, 12:15 PM
ORR, although I felt your spirit on the Cedar Falls challenge, I see no indication that you created it. I see Ashallond's and Yazzman's stamps on the two in Ft. Smith. Is this because of the 24-hour rule? If so, I suppose since it's out of your control and into the hands of the "community" then you could claim a find/completion? Personally, not only do I see no problem with that, I endorse it. You hiked it, you deserve the credit, whether you found a cache there or not. Perhaps now these special places will be at least worth one smiley for making the effort.
I also saw the notes on Ashallond's and Yazzman's challenges indicating that they had created them, and was a little puzzled on how the note got there. I know that the website did not automatically add anything to mine after I published it. I can only guess that they added the comment themselves when they created their challenges. Regardless, no one owns a challenge after it is published.

I hadn't thought about whether or not it is OK for the creator of a challenge to perform the challenge and get the smiley. I guess since the creator doesn't own it, it would be OK. I mean, it's not exactly like hiding a cache, and then logging it as a find when you revisit it later for maintenance. Regardless, I don't know if I will log my own challenges or not. But I'm interested in what others think about this, so please feel free to comment on this in this thread. Also, in the thread in the Forums where members congratulate other members on reaching milestones, do we consider the total of geocache finds plus challenges completed? Or just the geocache finds?

SJClimber
08-19-2011, 02:05 PM
At present it appears that there are only two types of challenges; action and photo. Seems like ORR desires to create a location challenge though that is not detailed in his post. Bryan and Jeremy stated that location challenges were in the works to be activated in the near future. Have taken the "Take A Hike" challenge to be completed Monday if all goes as planned. The podcast was an interesting "listen." Appreciate the link to that site.

paris1time
08-19-2011, 02:06 PM
ORR, you beat me to it! I too was going to create a Signal Hill challenge since it is the high point of Arkansas. That might be one draw back, since there are no distance restrictions there could be an limitless number of challenges in the same spot or for the same thing. Like the free market system I think that Groundspeak must be hoping that the "supply" and "demand" will help determine the market. I placed my challenge as a photo challenge for the Logan County Museum and I have another I will publish tonight that will be a photo challenge at the Arkansas Coal Miner's Museum here in Paris.

I also downloaded the free app on my Droid X (believe it or not there are complaints on that too). The app only does geocachingchallenges, but that is great for me since I don't cache with my phone (I do use it to go paperless). The app was free so I have no complaints.

Another complaint was about those who log them without actually completing them. Who are they cheating? No one but themselves. I know I have audited logs for some physical caches that I have placed that were logged online but they didn't sign the cache log. I suspect they never really found the cache, but then again they are living the lie, not me.

I for one want to thank Groundspeak for adding something new and not being closed minded about it. I'm sure with time they will address any major issues and tweak it to work better. Again those who complain about them will make the most noise.

I have to note I saw in the Groundspeak forum where one cacher actually disabled one of his caches because someone included it in a challenge without asking his permission. I looked at his cache listing and he even threatens to archive the listing if the challenge isn't.

I am also looking to see how challenges can be incorporated into events. For example, the Cache Mania event in October I might have a Geocaching Challenge for those who find all the geocaches placed for the event.

TnT
08-19-2011, 04:22 PM
David, What is the app's name? "Geocaching" doesn't pull it up

Never mind, I found it. It's called "Challenges."

captaincooder
08-19-2011, 05:05 PM
If the challenge counts toward your cumulative find total, I say bravo on your total milestone... provided the challenges are worthy. Like power trailers with inflated counts, you're not fooling anyone.

captaincooder
08-19-2011, 05:10 PM
And BTW, I think I deserve credit for the Cedar Falls challenge, but I will not post until I find a picture, as it is a photo challenge. I fell in love with hiking in the third grade when my family spent a week at the park, hiking most of the trails. It is special enough to me that I chose it as the place to propose marriage, and I was lucky to have an observant tourist videotape it for me. So, if I can just find the tape and then covert it to digital and capture an image...

arkfiremedic
08-19-2011, 06:49 PM
ORR, does the picture need to be taken/challenge completed after publishing? This aspect confuses me (I know it's not hard to do that).

Ashallond
08-19-2011, 07:30 PM
Dang it, I was going to do signal hill, but honestly, with how HARD it is to search a state for challenges (type in arkansas. you get no response...you have to type in a city or coords or a landmark. silly choice there) I also worry about the duplicates.

As for the note that I have on mine about the creation, no...I didn't do that. it was automatically put on. They took that off now?

Honestly, I think there needs to be a bit more control, and we really need to be able to search challenges by state.

OldRiverRunner
08-19-2011, 08:12 PM
ORR, does the picture need to be taken/challenge completed after publishing? This aspect confuses me (I know it's not hard to do that).
I think in the spirit of things, yes, the challenge should be taken and completed after publishing. I mean, prior to the publishing of it, there was no challenge! ;) But the FAQ section on Challenges states the following:


How do I prove that I completed a Challenge?

Challenges run on the honor system. Say you completed it? We believe you. After all, you're only cheating yourself!



So, based upon that ... I guess it's between you and your conscience!

captaincooder
08-20-2011, 04:40 AM
AFM--right now there are only two types of challenges - "Action" and "Photo". I think there's a lot of overlap. For example, some of the Action challenges request photo proof, and like ORR's photo challenge, there is significant action involved. But some are more pure; for example, an Action challenge of picking up trash in a park (picture not really required) or a Photo challenge of playing air guitar at the Hard Rock Cafe (not a lot of real effort involved, just folly). Personally, had ORR labeled his Cedar Falls challenge as an Action category, I would have claimed it. But since he requests a photo, then I'm going to play by the rules and furnish a photo.

Now, as far as only getting credit for completing a challenge after it is published... I'm not sure I need to re-visit each place to claim credit for having been there... prime example, waterfall caches. So I won't think less of you if you say, "Yep I already did that!"

ronwhite
08-22-2011, 07:32 AM
OK Folks, I need some help with these Geocaching.com Challenges. When I try to find anything in Arkansas or anything else and try to search by location it only brings up challenges at the coordinates of 4739.585'N 12221.354'W, which is no where near here. When you tell it to find my location - it comes up with the same thing. I've went in and checked the home coordinates under my profile and they are correct. So, I don't understand what I'm doing wrong - especially since I can't change anything to find challenges that are close. In the search by location I've put in Arkansas, with the same results as above and since I've seen where Paris1time had put in a couple of Challenges, I tried putting in specifically Paris, Arkansas and still came up with the weird coordinated. Anybody have any ideas to share with this lame brain of a geocacher!!??

SJClimber
08-22-2011, 08:05 AM
Agree with Ron. There seem to be four "worldwide" challenges. Those of ORR and P1T do not appear if you place an AR location or if one browses "all" worldwide challenges. Wonder if GroundSpeak's server problem yesterday has an impact on this? ORR, as a reviewer, do you have any insight into the issue??

Ashallond
08-22-2011, 07:24 PM
ron, I have no idea HOW they coded the search radius for challenges. I haven't figured out how far away from Fort Smith you have to go before you don't see the two placed in town, but there is no list by state, and if you have solved a challenge, there's no way that someone else could look at your list to see if there are any that they would like to do as well. Your profile apparently only shows the ones you found in the last 30 days.

There's a lot of tweaking to be done to this setup, by apparently jeremy has gone into turtle mode and isn't listening to much of anything.

MathSeeker
08-23-2011, 06:02 AM
Worldwide Challenges are only issued by Groundspeak, but you can recommend new Worldwide Challenges on our feedback site (http://feedback.geocaching.com/forums/130071-worldwide-challenge-ideas).

This quote is from geocaching.com.

ronwhite
08-23-2011, 07:17 AM
Not really worried about world wide challenges - I can't get any to come up; local, state, national or world wide. Sure looks like they would have tested this a little better before putting it out. Hell, just bring back the original virtuals!!

Jffok
08-23-2011, 07:34 AM
It is looks to me like these are being counted as finds on the geocaching count. Am I looking at it wrong. I checked on friends page who had found 2 of the challenges. And they were added into his total finds.

paris1time
08-23-2011, 08:06 AM
They are included challenges in total finds. They did have it that when you would "hover" the pointer on your screen over someones numbers it would say show how many of their total finds was caches and how many are challenges, but I have noticed in the last couple of days that they numbers that use to appear by someone's screen name is no longer there.

paris1time
08-23-2011, 08:10 AM
Ron- The best way I have found is to put the city and state in the search box, for example Paris, AR or Fort Smith, AR. I have not used coords or zip code that does not seem to give me any returns. I think they will be working on this part as time goes by. I also think right now they have put their efforts in the free phone app. When I open it up it automatically gives me a list of those close to me no matter where I am.

ronwhite
08-23-2011, 08:43 AM
I tried putting Paris, Arkansas and just Arkansas in the search box - still get the weird result of nowhere near here!

SJClimber
08-23-2011, 02:16 PM
Ditto P1T. Finally found the challenges near Paris and Russellville. Have to pick these up on return to AR. This may be a fun addition to caching.

OldRiverRunner
08-23-2011, 07:07 PM
I tried putting Paris, Arkansas and just Arkansas in the search box - still get the weird result of nowhere near here!
Ron, I don't know what you are doing wrong, but it is not a problem with the website. When I put in Paris, AR, or Ft. Smith, AR, or Little Rock, AR, I get a listing of challenges close to those locations.

ChuckWalla
08-23-2011, 07:13 PM
Wonder if GroundSpeak's server problem yesterday has an impact on this? ORR, as a reviewer, do you have any insight into the issue??

Sorry, SJC, but I am the reviewer, not ORR. Regarding the challenges, reviewers are not involved in any way with them. Any questions, concerns, gripes, praises, etc. concerning the challenges should be sent directly to Groundspeak (there are links at the bottom of the GC.com pages to make contact with Groundspeak). The Lackeys will be happy to help you!

SJClimber
08-23-2011, 07:48 PM
YO, mighty lizard, many pardons. Will work on the Groundspeak forums, etc....8-O

ronwhite
08-24-2011, 10:41 AM
I tried it again last night about 7:00 and finally got the ones in Paris (got them) and then tried Little Rock and the Capitol challenge showed up. Then I started wondering what kind of radius each town/challenge takes into consideration. Put in North Little Rock, Jacksonville, and Bryant and the Capitol Challenge comes up, but Cabot and Benton doesn't show anything. They probably need to let us know what kind of area/radius they are using!! Sure would help if you're traveling out of State! Also, I wonder if they will ever list the Challenges by State, too. Or do they figure there would be too many that would show up?? Mainly just asking myself a lot of questions!

paris1time
08-24-2011, 04:03 PM
I may be wrong, but I think the search online is directly connected to their app for the iphone and android phones. I have a Droid X and downloaded the app for it the day it came. It automatically searches for geocaching challenges near your location.

I had thought about creating a thread that would list Arkansas Geocaching Challenges, but if a challenge is flagged too many times by members it will be automatically archived. The thread would have to be constantly checked to make sure the list contained active challenges.

paris1time
08-24-2011, 04:06 PM
I think they may have also made it a little harder to search to keep people from just going down a list and flagging every challenge. There are those out there, and if you don't believe me check out the Groundspeak forums, that despise the challenges. They probably flag every challenge no matter what. If someone could pull up a list of every challenge in Arkansas they would just go and flag each one and ask their fellow geocaching challenge haters to flag them too. They will have to work harder to flag them if that is their agenda.

thefab5willisclan
08-29-2011, 12:52 AM
It is looks to me like these are being counted as finds on the geocaching count. Am I looking at it wrong. I checked on friends page who had found 2 of the challenges. And they were added into his total finds.

They are now showing challenges separate from cache finds on your profile.

thefab5willisclan
08-29-2011, 12:58 AM
We have completed 10 challenges to date. All of the worldwide ones(with the exception of the archived "kiss a frog") and a few local ones as well. Watching the sun set from the big dam bridge took care of 2 tonight. It's just another way that I can get the whole family together for fun. I for one think that they are great. I don't think of it as geocaching just another way to get out with the family.

OldRiverRunner
08-30-2011, 04:18 PM
They are now showing challenges separate from cache finds on your profile.

Yeah, I just noticed that today and was going to post something about it. I am happy that they are counted separately. I don't really consider them to be "geocaches", for several reasons, and therefore I don't think they should be part of the total geocache find number. Not that I'm against doing them. I just don't think they should count as part of the total finds.

Ashallond
08-30-2011, 10:33 PM
the problem is, if you look at your total list of geocaches, they are still part of the total. Benchmarks, are still not. so it looks to me that they are counting them as finds still.

thefab5willisclan
08-30-2011, 11:10 PM
I agree they should not count as a geocache. my total finds do not show the challenges though. They are separate on my profile and everywhere that I've looked.

thefab5willisclan
08-30-2011, 11:13 PM
And my stats at the bottom of my Posts here show the correct # of cache finds. My completed challenges are not part of that number.

Ashallond
08-31-2011, 08:30 AM
hmm, then it's weird. Here, go look at this profile, and click on the geocaches tab.

http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=f071f6d1-90e5-4e10-8b3c-73cedbcc0445

At the bottom of the left, it says that HnsomHoundPrttyKitty has found/completed 968. When I add up their geocache categories only, I only get 956, which is 12 short...and they have 12 challenges.

On this page, it's still being counted as a find.

OldRiverRunner
08-31-2011, 09:40 AM
hmm, then it's weird. Here, go look at this profile, and click on the geocaches tab.

http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=f071f6d1-90e5-4e10-8b3c-73cedbcc0445

At the bottom of the left, it says that HnsomHoundPrttyKitty has found/completed 968. When I add up their geocache categories only, I only get 956, which is 12 short...and they have 12 challenges.

On this page, it's still being counted as a find.

True. But on the page that opens up with the link you provided (Profile page), it clearly breaks out Geocaches Found and Challenges Completed. Also, under the Statistics tab, the number listed is the number of geocaches found, not the total of geocaches and challenges. It would appear that there are not any statistics being generated by the website on challenges.

Ashallond
08-31-2011, 06:34 PM
yeah, thus my confusion. It's like they halfway put it in place, but not consistently everywhere. and I wonder how they would make it consistent when the feedback people start voting up the issue.

thefab5willisclan
08-31-2011, 09:00 PM
Maybe they will fix it all when they go down for an update at 11am pdt tomorrow.

Ashallond
09-01-2011, 08:51 AM
hope so. I know one fix is that you won't have your list of open challenges still full of challenges that got nuked that first day (like mine is) beyond that, I haven't seen the full list of fixes yet.

OldRiverRunner
09-02-2011, 09:33 PM
Maybe they will fix it all when they go down for an update at 11am pdt tomorrow.
Looks like they did. I just noticed that on the Geocaches tab referenced by Ashallond, the total now excludes challenges as well as benchmarks, as noted in the footnote.

Ashallond
09-02-2011, 11:34 PM
then...I'm getting more content with them.

Jffok
09-04-2011, 04:55 AM
I am still wondering why the challenge shows up as a find on your total finds. It was my understanding that they would not count. Does it work the same way as temp. caches. They show as finds but not as authenic caches.

SJClimber
09-05-2011, 08:10 AM
Doesn't look like the challenges are going to count as a "find," but as a completed challenge. Surely not as if you were to find a virtual. Oh well....

thefab5willisclan
09-05-2011, 10:43 PM
We are now up to 11 challenges completed now. Woo Hooo!!!